Better…not younger: Never settle in your search for The One lippy

Hannah Betts’s Better…not younger: Never settle in your search for The One (lippy, that is, not lover)

  • Hannah Betts shares advice for finding a flattering lipstick to suit your features
  • UK-based beauty columnist reveals a selection of the best autumn aromas  
  • Ingenious Beauty Ultimate Second Generation as shameless indulgence 

Every few months, someone will insist I write about red lipstick ‘because you always wear it’. At this point I am forced to sigh and say: ‘No, that’s Dita Von Teese.’

Not only have I never had a scarlet pout, I also didn’t wear lipstick full stop until my 40s. My lips were naturally dark. My make-up loves lay elsewhere (foundation, cheeks, eyes), and a done mouth looked a bit ‘TV anchorwoman’ on me — ageing and too finished.

Still, time moves on and colour drains from the features, so a bit more oomph has come to feel like a good thing.

For lipstick is uplift, pure cheer. Churchill knew this when he kept it off the ration list, as he felt it was essential to Britain’s war effort. Liberators of concentration camps reported that a sense of humanity began to be restored with the arrival not of food, but of lipstick. As Coco Chanel insisted: ‘If you’re sad, add more lipstick and attack.’ Ditto if you’re happy — and especially if you’re meh.

UK-based beauty columnist Hannah Betts shares advice for finding a flattering lipstick to suit your features. Pictured: Natalia Vodianova

By our great age, you ought to have found The One: your one and nobody else’s. What you need is a hue that makes your eyes zing and your skin gleam. Work out whether your colouring is warm, cool or neutral. Do earthy corals suit you (warm), or blueish pinks (cool), or can you veer either way?

Take your time, learn by comparison, and refuse to settle for anything less than staggering. There is an infinite number of colours you could wear. What I’m talking about is the shade it pains you to remove.

Excessive as ever, my one is actually two — one colour played two ways. Lipstick Queen’s Hello Sailor (£16,, a sheer, balm-like blue berry, is my great, low-key love. Charlotte Tilbury’s Matte Revolution Lipstick in Festival Magic (£25, is my proper lip: a full-force, purple berry banger that I daub on.

I strongly recommend allowing yourself a couple of different textures in the same ultra- you shade.

Mac’s Ruby Woo — a true red — is adored not only by Dita Von Teese, but also by Angelina Jolie, Rihanna (before she launched her own range, Fenty) and Taylor Swift. A 22-year-old cult buy, it sells four tubes a minute worldwide, and five an hour in the UK.

It has just been released in a number of new finishes under the banner Ruby’s Crew (from £17.50,

For a budget hit, I love Rimmel, Barry M and Kiko. However, at times one can amp up the lipstick fillip via a greater spend. I recently took enormous pleasure in tracking down the precise shade favoured by the heroine of Netflix’s horror series Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina and sporting it myself, despite being nearly three-and-a-half decades older.

The lipstick? Christian Louboutin Beauty’s Very Prive (£73,, an ultra- pigmented burgundy housed in an ornate vial, suspended on a gold ribbon so you can wear it around your neck — make-up as jewellery.

Hannah (pictured) said Guerlain’s Rouge G Luxurious Velvet Collection brings us 15 long-lasting matte, while Carolina Herrera has 43 shades that can be artfully customised 

Guerlain’s Rouge G Luxurious Velvet Collection brings us 15 long-lasting mattes, including the one pictured on model Natalia Vodianova, above (£26,, which you can customise with six velvet cases, including houndstooth, striped and tweed designs (£32). Sleek and seriously chic, this is a lipstick that makes one glad to be alive.

All 43 shades of Carolina Herrera’s lipsticks can be even more artfully customised, with caps, initials, charms and tassels (£74, I adore my Art Deco green waves design with a stonking great black tassel, and waft it about constantly like the artwork it is.

The Rouge Dior Minaudiere lipstick set (£156,, from Friday) is the kind of cosmetic treasure my nieces would beat me to death for, then pry from my cold, lifeless hands.

Think: four lipsticks (Pink Rose, Red Pansy, Winter Poppy and Sparkling Peony) housed in an engraved gold clutch, with a chain to transform it into a shoulder bag. One can deploy it as a portable lip wardrobe, or use it to carry a single lipstick and credit cards.

If I’m lucky, my nieces may let me keep the Diorific lipstick being sold alongside it: Midnight Corolle (£32.50), which is precisely the right sort of jammy, purplish pink to make my heart sing.


Liberty’s box of festive joy was the original beauty advent calendar — and it’s still the best. This Yule sees a chaps’ version: £623 worth of treats such as Votary face oil and Augustinus Bader moisturiser. Forget the gender designation: I want one. 



Dawn French, 64, (pictured) has ditched her trademark brunette bob in favour of a grey crop

The 64-year-old has ditched her trademark brunette bob in favour of a grey crop, noting: ‘Three shades of grey (working up to the 50) … I’m thinking I’m giving it solid Jamie Lee Curtis.’ This new look is softer, and her large glasses lend structure. Her eyes remain defined, while rosy blusher gives her a healthy glow. Getting real in the most winning of ways.


Ingenious Beauty Ultimate Collagen Second Generation (from £54.99) is a clinically proven collagen supplement based on 20 years of research.

As well as marine collagen, it contains hyaluronic acid and astaxanthin (an antioxidant 6,000 times more powerful than vitamin C). Billed as a game-changer for women over 40, it is receiving recognition from top dermatologists.

The supplement is also available as a vegan formula (from £59.99) and a version designed to enhance exercise (from £79.99)


A heavenly harvest of herbs and spices from a Tuscan garden.

Described as ‘a fragrance for humans’, this evokes cognac, leather and sex.

Inspired by autumn leaves, this blends green and earthy notes with a golden drydown of amber and patchouli.

This sublime cedarwood and iris scent evokes a sense of nostalgia.

Woody, floral and subtly spiced, Orpheon captures an autumnal night in Paris.

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